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On Approaches to Learning versus Learning Styles: A Reply to Duff et al.'s Comment


  • Ralph Adler
  • Rosalind Whiting
  • Kate Wynn-Williams


The Comment of Duff, Dobie and Guo (forthcoming) offers variable usefulness. At its best, Duff et al.'s Comment makes an earnest attempt to promote dialogue and debate. For example, their Comment offers new ways to reconceptualize our two papers, and further offers challenges to how the research was motivated and executed. As such, their Comment provides glimpses of the healthy polemics that characterized the accounting discipline during the 1960s and 1970s. We are, therefore, most appreciative of how Duff et al. have attempted to rediscover the art of the polemical argument, and are furthermore grateful that they have chosen to include us in their attempt. What we find regrettable about the Comment of Duff et al. is the frequently misinformed bases from which it operates. This problem could have been partially remedied had the authors accepted our offer to provide them with a copy of the research instrument and data. Reminiscent of Plato's The Allegory of the Cave, instead of observing first hand and writing about the objects themselves, Duff et al. have chosen to observe the objects' shadows and write on these. The ultimate consequence is that we, as the replying authors, and it is also the case that this journals' readers, have regrettably been denied the chance to hear, reflect on, and respond to a more informed, more fully grounded argument. In this Reply, we will respond to the various concerns and challenges raised in the Comment of Duff et al. Mindful of the premium placed on journal space, our Reply aims for directness and succinctness. We do, however, offer all interested readers the opportunity to receive a copy of our research instrument and data to verify the comments we make here and/or to verify, replicate, and/or extend the research findings and conclusions we present in our other two papers (Adler, Whiting and Wynn-Williams, 2004; Wynn-Williams, Whiting and Adler, forthcoming).

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph Adler & Rosalind Whiting & Kate Wynn-Williams, 2008. "On Approaches to Learning versus Learning Styles: A Reply to Duff et al.'s Comment," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 145-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:accted:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:145-149
    DOI: 10.1080/09639280701788687

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